Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-801-4776 or Mike Myslinski at 408-921-5769
LOS ANGELES – The governor’s budget proposal to slash $4.8 billion from education would be “disastrous for our public schools, higher education, students and their futures,” warns a resolution unanimously approved today by the top governing body of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association that voted to condemn the spending plan.
California’s educators are “outraged” that in this proclaimed “year of education,” the governor’s budget plan would propose such catastrophic cuts and also seeks to suspend the state’s voter-approved, minimum school funding law, Proposition 98. The CTA State Council of Education, comprised of nearly 800 democratically elected teacher delegates from across the state, passed the resolution at its quarterly meeting in Los Angeles.
The resolution puts in perspective the huge damage that cutting $4.8 billion would cause. It’s the equivalent of laying off more than 107,000 teachers or 137,000 education support professionals; or gutting per-student funding by more than $800; or cutting more than $24,000 per classroom statewide, or increasing class sizes statewide by as much as 35 percent. California already ranks 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending, has some of country’s largest class sizes and “ranks dead last in the number of counselors, school nurses and librarians per student,” the CTA resolution declares.
The resolution goes on to say that the magnitude of proposed cuts to higher education will be devastating, with our community colleges losing more than $500 million, CSU over $300 million and the UC system, $109 million. Cuts this deep would mean faculty layoffs, up to a 10 percent hike in student fees—their sixth in the last seven years—reductions in course offerings, increases in class sizes and longer graduation times.
“CTA calls on the governor and the Legislature to put our students first, reject across-the-board cuts that would damage our public schools (and) protect the voter-approved, minimum school funding law, Proposition 98,” the teachers’ resolution states. The governor and the Legislature must “show true leadership by setting realistic state budget priorities and a balanced approach of spending cuts and revenue increases to close the $14.5 billion budget hole.”
CTA President David A. Sanchez vowed that CTA members will fight to protect California’s students and schools from these proposed catastrophic budget cuts. “Our schools are making progress, but cuts of this magnitude would derail the progress and threaten the academic futures of millions of students,” Sanchez said. “We cannot continue to expect our students to do more with less.”
The State Council resolution is in the “Budget Crisis” section of the CTA website: www.cta.org.